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Jazmon Gwathmey’s James Madison women’s basketball team wins NCAA tourney game

Sunday, Mar. 23 | By Jeff Malmgren

Jazmon Gwathmey had six rebounds and four points during James Madison's 72-63 win over Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA Division I tournament. --Courtesy photo
Jazmon Gwathmey hadn’t yet been born the last time the James Madison University women’s basketball team won an NCAA Division I tournament game.

She helped the Dukes end that long drought Sunday.

The Liberty graduate and JMU redshirt sophomore had six rebounds and four points during the Dukes’ 72-63 win over the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the first round of the NCAA tournament at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas. The 11th-seeded Dukes (29-5) upset No. 6 Gonzaga (29-5) to advance to play No. 3 Texas A&M on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. in College Station. James Madison last won an NCAA tournament game in 1991, when it advanced to the Sweet 16.

Gwathmey, a 6-foot-2 guard, set the tone on the first possession of the game by blocking 6-4 forward Sunny Greinacher, an all-West Coast Conference first team selection. After winning the tip, the Bulldogs fed Greinacher in post, but Gwathmey, whose 54 blocks ranks third on James Madison’s all-time single-season list, rejected Greinacher’s turnaround jump shot.

The Dukes went on to build a lead as large as 27-19 in the first half when Gwathmey made a fastbreak layup.

Gonzaga rallied to narrow its deficit to 33-31 by halftime and then took a lead as large as 51-47 midway through the second half. James Madison, however, quickly regained the lead as Kirby Burkholder scored 15 of her game-high 28 points in the final nine minutes.

Burkholder also had 18 rebounds and went 17-for-18 from the free-throw line to set a JMU record for made foul shots.

Gwathmey added two assists, but foul trouble kept her off the court for a long stretch during the second half.

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